Dear Workforce How Do We Persuade Our Management That the HR Function Could Offer Strategic Value to the Company

By Staff Report

Aug. 10, 2007

Dear Looking at the Big Picture:

Strategic HR is more an evaluation of the senior HR staff’s performance rather than a checklist of items. Pre-selling your management on the popular-but-vague idea of strategic HR is likely to prove less effective than repeatedly demonstrating that you have a strategic approach to your role.

  • How well do you understand your company’s business economics?
  • Do you read the data and business publications (not HR publications) that your top management reads and relies on, so they are not frequently bringing you up to speed–or worse, leaving you out of the discussion?
  • Do you show awareness that HR is a cost center, not a profit center, and constantly and conspicuously seek returns on the investment your company makes in its HR function?
  • Do you look for ways to keep your highest producers at the company, and let your lowest producers leave and go to work for your competition?
  • Do you resist adding faddish, low-value benefits and instead fight for important benefits that have greater impact on employee loyalty, motivation and retention? (Read more about the negative reactions when Hewlett-Packard slightly reduced the number of telecommuters in its huge workforce.)

Checklists, unfortunately, are typical of how senior management often view the HR function. Although it may serve some purpose, a checklist seems more likely to address effective HR than strategic HR. Over time, your executive management will form its opinion of how strategic your HR function is from the dozens of examples that result from your analytical thinking, your overall business sense, your orientation toward future company goals, and the quality, not quantity, of your initiatives. Good luck as you proceed down this path.

SOURCE: Harold Fethe, MindSolve Technologies, Gainesville, Florida, July 21, 2006

LEARN MORE: Please read Strategic Human Resources Actions for some proven metrics.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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